Peace on Earth!
Fr. Harrison Markose
One of the attributes of Advent is that God comes in search of Human beings through Jesus. He not only comes but also brings the eternal Peace to all mankind. The Peace that he brought was rare and precious but today the world has lost its taste. He brought glory in abundance, but today the world has lost its glory. One of the primordial results of the incarnation, God becoming Man, is: the true establishment of Peace on Earth. God wanted His People to be instruments of Peace and He visualised the Kingdom to be nothing but fulfillment of Peace, Love and Harmony.
As a matter of fact, today some parts of the world have lost their meaning, vision and purpose. The human values are replaced with power and material possessions. The human democratic values such asequality, fraternity, love and peace have become mere unpracticed concepts and this has diminished its authenticity and clouded its genuine nature. All these values have a special divine touch in them, and these are highlighted and elaborated in all World Religions. As we know from the Scripture, the first salutation by Resurrected Jesus to his disciples was nothing but Peace, `` the Peace is with you``. Jesus knew what his people wanted most, what was lacking and what the requirement of that time was. So He gives peace in abundance. The true peace that Jesus offers is something no one can give on earth. It is precious, divine and eternal. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives." (John 14:27)
The Fathers of the Church, Saints and Leaders of the Nations have highlighted the importance of this concept of peace in their writings. For instance, the prayer for Peace by Saint Francis of Assisi is a source of inspiration and encouragement to all human beings in this present complex society.
Pope John XXIII, through his Encyclical ``Pacem in Terris``conveys the Good News of Peace on Earth, not only to the Catholics but also to ever y man of good will. `` Our concern here has been with problems which are causing men extreme anxiety at the present time; problems which are intimately bound up with the progress of human society. Unquestionably, the teaching We have given has been inspired by a longing which We feel most keenly, and which We know is shared by all men of good will: that peace may be assured on earth``(Pacem In Terris :Encyclical of Pope John XXIII on establishing universal Peace in Truth, Justice, charity and Liberty, April 11, 1963). The encyclical calls our attention to bring Peace to all people irrespective of religions, denominations, nations, cultures and traditions. Each and every aspects of this encyclical is very relevant today, especially in our consumeristic, materialistic complex society where the establishment of peace remains only a dream. As the concluding remarks Pope John XXIII inspires every faithful to be a glow of true light, a center of true love, and thereby to remain as a true leaven among all the people of good will.``Everyone who has joined the ranks of Christ must be a glowing point of light in the world, a nucleus of love, a leaven of the whole mass. He will be so in proportion to his degree of spiritual union with God``. (Pacem in Terris. 164).
Peace is the basis of Happiness and it emerges from within oneself. The ultimate aim of every human being is to be happy. So it is a need of the time to rediscover and reestablish Peace on earth. Pope Pius XII wrote in this regard: ``Nothing is lost by Peace, everything may be lost by war``. Our Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace invites everyone to be an Instrument of Peace, to be a peace maker."I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace." (John 16:33).
The advent of Jesus among us is to be a reality through the establishment of Peace on earth. Together with the tone of Angels let us sing: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will." (Luke 2: 8-9; 13-14)